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Tax Law Blog

New Jersey reality stars headed to prison

Bravo's "Real Housewives" reality series has proven to be very lucrative for the network as the series has several casts in numerous cities and states. The New Jersey edition of the Housewives series has undoubtedly been one of the most conflict-ridden and therefore lucrative for the network.

Recently, the real life legal troubles of one New Jersey cast mate took center stage over any of the dramas playing out before cameras as Teresa Giudice and her husband Giuseppe, better known to viewers as Joe, were sentenced to serve time in federal prison.

Government report recommends changes to IRS' W-2 verification practices

Ohio residents who have filed an income tax refund, likely recall including information from and a copy of one or more W-2 forms. A W-2 is issued by an individual's employer and includes information related to an individual's gross income earnings and tax deductions. This information is crucial in determining how much a taxpayer owes in taxes. Likewise, W-2 information is also needed to assess whether a taxpayer is eligible to receive an IRS tax refund.

Tips for delinquent tax filers

Every year as the April 15 deadline to file income tax returns approaches, business owners and individuals alike scramble to ensure they have the documents they need and have correctly completed related tax forms. What happens, however, if an individual simply allows the dreaded tax deadline to pass without filing a return or taking action to request a filing extension?

Governments take action to shut down foreign tax loopholes and shelters

Many people, particularly those with considerable amounts of wealth, rely upon the expertise of financial advisors and tax professionals when figuring out how to make and retain money. In years past, many Americans and citizens of other countries took advantage of potential tax shelters and loopholes associated with foreign accounts. Today, with the enaction of FATCA, the U.S. has largely cracked down on these practices. However, other methods to secure assets and possibly avoid paying taxes still exist.

The IRS's Criminal Investigations unit was busy in 2013

The federal government is not forgiving of individuals or businesses it believes have committed tax crimes or are attempting to avoid paying taxes. All U.S. businesses and citizens, as well as some non-U.S. businesses and citizens, are required to pay taxes on all earned income. In cases where the IRS suspects an individual or business is engaging in activities related to tax evasion, money-laundering or tax fraud; a special division of the IRS known as the Criminal Investigations unit becomes involved.

The CI unit is comprised of approximately 3,700 IRS agents who specialize in investigating suspected cases related to activities that violate IRS tax codes. Within the CI unit, there are three programs that focus on different types of criminal activities related to tax crimes, financial crimes and drug and counterterrorism financial crimes.

Former reality star finds self in a tough "situation" with the IRS

Ohio residents were first introduced to the MTV television series Jersey Shore in 2009. Since that time, the antics of the television show's cast members on and off camera have been the subject of many news stories and legal cases.

While a cast member on the show, Mike Sorrentino, who went by his nickname the Situation, was best known for perpetuating the stereotypical image of a New Jersey Italian-American male and flashing his abs. Off camera, Sorrentino took steps to capitalize on his new-found fame by starting two companies with his brother Marc and pursuing other promotional and endorsement opportunities.

Expatriates negatively impacted by FATCA

Expatriates negatively impacted by FATCA

Since its enaction in 2010, there's been much discussion about the Foreign Account Tax Compliance Act and its effect on both foreign financial institutions and U.S. citizens with foreign assets. Under the provisions of FATCA, U.S. citizens with foreign-held assets in excess of $50,000 are required to provide detailed information related to those accounts and assets. In addition to self-reporting guidelines, FATCA requires foreign governments and financial institutions to also provide information related to identified individuals and assets.

While the U.S. federal government is quick to defend FATCA, citing the need to crackdown on tax evasion by foreign account holders, a recent report by the nonprofit Democrats Abroad details some of the negative and likely unforeseen consequences of FATCA for expatriates.

Are non-citizens exempt from paying U.S. taxes?

The Internal Revenue Service is the federal agency tasked with both establishing and enforcing U.S. tax laws and collecting tax-related payments. While most other countries collect taxes from citizens, the U.S. is renowned as having some of the strictest and widely enforced tax laws of any country.

We've previously written about how U.S. born citizens living abroad are being impacted by the Foreign Account Tax Compliance Act, however, there are cases in which even non U.S. citizens are required to pay Uncle Sam.

What's the difference between an employee and independent contractor?

The goal of many small business owners is to grow their business and business capabilities. In many cases, business owners who are successful in achieving this goal must hire individuals to assist with a variety of business-related matters. Upon hiring someone, business owners must take steps to correctly classify a worker as either an employee or independent contractor.

For a small business owner, designating a worker as an employee or independent contractor has significant and varying tax obligations and implications. While the IRS doesn't offer any hard and fast rules about how to classify an employee, it does provide basic guidelines that must be considered and taken into account by an employer.

Addressing compliance issues related to offshore financial accounts

The Internal Revenue Service combats the circumvention of United States law by requiring U.S. citizens and residents with money in foreign accounts to report those accounts each year by completing the Report of Foreign Bank and Financial Accounts, or FBAR. Under the Bank Secrecy Act, foreign trusts, mutual funds, brokerage accounts and bank accounts, along with any dividends, interest, gains or losses associated with those accounts, must be reported.

There is nothing illegal about a U.S. citizen or resident simply having a foreign bank account. In recent years, however, the U.S. Department of Justice and the IRS have stepped up efforts to hold individuals, corporations and trusts civilly and criminally accountable for not disclosing foreign accounts.

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Robert J. Fedor, Esq., L.L.C.
23550 Center Ridge Road, Suite 107
Westlake, OH 44145

Phone: 440-250-9709
Toll Free: 800-579-0997
Fax: 440-250-9714
Westlake Law Office Map

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Robert J. Fedor, Esq., L.L.C.
542 S. Dearborn St., Suite 660
Chicago, IL 60605
Phone: 312-836-9096
Toll Free: 800-579-0997
Fax: 312-697-1384
Chicago Law Office Map